Curie High School, Chicago, IL, power forward Cliff Alexander is one of the most highly sought after college basketball prospects from the Class of 2014. On Monday, he narrowed down his list to five schools, with one of them having the potential to shock the college basketball world.
Alexander is shown on his ESPN.com player profile to be 6-foot-9 and weigh 225 pounds. He is listed as the third-best prospect in ESPN.com Class of 2014 Top 100 prospects.
There are YouTube videos of his junior year and summer performances. In those videos, he appears to play like a future NBA big man.
Alexander has shown that he can be explosive on offense near the basket with amazing dunks. He can also be a menacing presence on defense with his size and wingspan to make it tough for opposing players to get clean shots in his vicinity.
The one problem with his skill-set is that Alexander is limited offensively. The best way for Alexander to try to improve on his offensive game is to develop some post moves. A hook shot or a spin move in the post would make it very tough for defenders to try to match his size and speed. He can be a very quick player for someone that is his size.
The problem for schools recruiting Alexander is that they have no idea which school he is going to choose. On Monday, he narrowed his list of schools to Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, Kansas, and Memphis, according to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com.
The fact that the Spartans, Jayhawks, or Tigers are on Alexander’s list of schools should not be a surprise because they are annually very good teams. Each team has made at least one NCAA Championship appearance in the past decade.
One team that is a huge surprise on Alexander’s list is the Blue Demons. The Blue Demons have been terrible in recent years, winning 32 total games in the last three seasons. They have consistently finished toward the bottom, if not at the bottom, of Big East Conference play. Alexander has apparently decided to look past that mediocrity and consider committing there. The recruit told ESPN:
“I love [DePaul] coach Oliver Purnell. He’s a great guy. He’s built a great relationship with my mom. We had a fun time. I’m really considering them. It helps a lot playing with Tommy, Myke, Billy and Rashaun. I know those guys.”
Alexander has already made a trip to the DePaul campus, which is a great sign for Purnell.
It also helps that the campus is only a 22-minute drive from Alexander’s high school. This allows Purnell the opportunity to use a local pitch in order to sway Alexander to commit to DePaul.
The Blue Demons are most likely to finish near the bottom of the Big East again this season with a very bad team, but Purnell could give some hope to the fan base of better days by getting a top recruit.
If Alexander commits to DePaul, then the college basketball world would be shocked because he would be committing to a school that has been bad recently. Typically, top prospects commit to ‘elite’ schools like Kentucky, Duke, or North Carolina.